The Black Student Union at IUPUI has an entire month of events for Black History Month here at IUPUI. If you’re reading this, you may have already went to a few of the events such as Black Jeopardy and the Anatomy of Riots, but if you haven’t there are still many to come. All students are encouraged to join and participate in events in order to learn from one another.
Lazaro Diaz is a freshman at IUPUI studying biomedical engineering and, though he wasn’t aware of the events ongoing, he felt they are important.
“I feel like it should be celebrated because it’s the history of our nation and how we’ve all come together.”
All of the events are interesting and informative, but there are a few classics and some new ones that are worth highlighting.
“Images of Black” hosted by the Black Student Association and the National Association of Black Journalists on Thursday, Feb. 11, examined African Americans in news and media. This discussion focused on how the news, movies, television shows, and radio broadcasts portray African Americans.
“The BSU and MSU Culture Talk” is on Wednesday, Feb. 17. This event is hosted by both the Black Student Union and the Muslim Student Union and will focus on the intersection of religion and race.
Another event worth going to is “Soul Cinema,” which will be on Monday, Feb. 15. “Soul Cinema” is an event showcasing films directed by people of color that emphasize black culture. Typically the “Soul Cinema” includes documentaries or docudramas by directors such as Spike Lee.
“Let’s Make a Slave” is on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and will allow visitors to experience some of the things slaves faced. This is important for understanding what history leaves out.
“Let’s Make a Slave” was started a few years ago by the Black Student Union president, RaeVen Rigwell.
“It’s essentially an interactive experience of what our ancestors went through, so individuals who come have to go through these scenes to experience what our ancestors went through.”
“The Celebration of Black Greek Life” is Wednesday, Feb. 24 and is an event drawing attention to the black Greek life on campus. Sororities and fraternities have been around since before the civil rights movement. Many civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, were involved in fraternities and sororities.
The IUPUI Black Student Union has been around since the beginning of our campus. Just recently they have met with Chancellor Nasser Paydar to advocate for a black cultural center for the community and to offer other important suggestions to make our campus more inclusive. Also, they recently took 93 cases and 23 jugs of water to Flint, Michigan, to assist with the current water crisis.
Black History Month is one opportunity for students to learn and understand black history. Students can attend events like this and find more by researching online. Rigwell reminds us one of the most important things to do is talk and listen to people within the community.
“So often we read stories, but it’s a much different arena when you’re able to actually personally interact with one of us because my story is different from their story, their story is different from mine, but in reality we all have a struggle.“
Social media has been successful in increasing awareness of some of the most polarizing events recently. Without it, one could argue we would never know about Sandra Bland and other cases of police brutality, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the #BringBackOurGirl campaign, or Indianapolis citizen Christopher Goodlow who was recently shot and killed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department during a psychotic episode.